Sunday, 23 July 2017


Hello! How are you? We've broken up for the holidays - hurrah! - but sadly there is no time for lie-ins and lazy days here, as I am frantically trying to finish our bedroom before we go on holiday next weekend. And do a million other things too, of course, like referee Bella and Angus. I spent a very happy day yesterday cleaning and sorting. I told the kids that we were having a home day and to amuse themselves (this can go one of two ways) while I sorted piles of junk that had built up here and there, moved back all the displaced furniture from when we decorated our bedroom, dusted and vacuumed and mopped. It felt good. Maybe not the most exciting start to our holidays but it needed to be done.

I have a few recommendations for you today, a few things I want to tell you about. Some I've been kindly sent to review, others I just want to share with you because I just really like them and think you might too.

:: Beth Pegler's beautiful, simple handmade jewellery, made from knotted rope. My sisters gave me this necklace for Christmas and it's one of my most worn items of jewellery. It looks especially good over a striped Breton top which is handy as I have, oh, one or two of those. 

And then I recently treated myself to another necklace and a little pile of these gorgeous bracelets. They are so tactile and soft against the skin, but not itchy as I have found yarn-covered jewellery to be. Do have a look at her shop. 

:: Espadrilles! Yes, I crocheted my own shoes! I do realise that sounds a little far-fetched, but look at them, aren't they fabulous? Wool and the Gang kindly sent me one of their kits a while back (quite a while actually...) and I finally got around to making them.

They were a gratifyingly quick make and I was able to crochet all four sections while watching the men's Wimbledon single's final last Sunday and then spent two evenings sewing the fabric heel and toe to the sole. This is not difficult, but I found it a little fiddly and hard on the fingers, but the end result is very pleasing.

Never mind the fact that I don't have any euros yet, or travel insurance, and haven't even thought about packing, I have espadrilles so I'm ready to travel.

:: Alice in Scandiland's blog. I discovered this via Alice's instagram account and find her style of decorating very inspiring, especially her creativity and eye for shape and design. But recently I was very taken with her wonderfully original handmade garden furniture

Photo by Alice J Collyer, used with permission.
Because the thing is, we really need some new garden furniture. The set we have only has three chairs for starters, and there are four of us, so that's already annoying, and bits wobble and fall off frequently. But wooden garden furniture is really expensive, even in the sales. But after seeing Alice's creation, and looking into the hair pin legs, and the cost of wood, I'm now working on John to see if he might fancy whipping me up an outdoor table and two benches sometime this summer. 

:: I was kindly send two LSA Bud Vases and very lovely they are two. I like this size of vase because you can easily fill them with a few snipped blooms from the garden without wiping out all your flowers. 

They are mouth blown from a single piece of glass and have a beautifully organic shape and come in some lovely colours. I gave the blue one to Bella's teacher as an end of term gift and she was really over the moon with it, absolutely adored it.

:: Power Ballads. I don't know if you know this about me, but I love two things very much: Radio 4 and power ballads. And while I was pottering around in the kitchen yesterday, listening to Radio 4 as is my way, I happened to catch the most brilliant programme called How to Write a Power Ballad, presented by the Rev Richard Coles (I love him too, actually.) It was fascinating, what goes into a song - technically - to make it sound and feel a certain way. And, while listening, I found out that there is a club night in London where all they play is power ballads. It's true! This might be my ultimate night out and I think I'm going to make John take me there for my fortieth birthday next year. Anyway, do have a listen on the iPlayer if you get a moment.


  1. Hey Gillian,
    I am loving the outdoor furniture. I'm thinking that maybe Marc could make me something ear maybe. I listened to the power ballad documentary on Radio 4, it was brilliant!
    Leanne xx

  2. Your crochet footwear is brilliant. Well done. Of course I love the little vases, and just right for a few sprigs. Oh, the table & benches are gorgeous & although I don't need one, I love them. Not sure I know what a Power Ballad is, but I'll find out. Is it more for your age group? I've just realised that you are the same age as "my baby"! He'll be 40 in January and he'd be furious if he knew I said that above(giggle). Our girls will be 45 this year & our eldest son 41. Oh, that all sounds so scary. Hope the holidays go well, take care & huggles to all.

  3. Your shoes are so cute! I think my giant clodhoppers would destroy them in a single day, but they look very nice. I love that kind of furniture too, was just looking at a coffee table with hairpin legs last weekend in a store.

  4. Wow, crocheted espadrilles, I'm fascinated. I'm betting your husband will be more than able to make you some garden furniture.
    Good luck on vacation.

  5. Super-cute espadrilles! They look very professional. I love the bud vases and garden furniture too. I think it's a good idea for children to have a home day at the start of the holidays; it let's you all catch your breath before the fun begins. Enjoy your holiday. xx

  6. Very nice espadrilles they are! It is ages since I had my last pair; I know we've not had much rain in this country in recent years, but I am always wary of shoes that are completely unfit for wet days.
    Thumbs up for your householdy day to start off the holidays! I had one of those last Friday, to finish my holiday. Today I am back to work - but at a leisurely pace, since I am working from home and will start true and proper work only after lunch at my Mum's :-)
    Very pretty little vases, no wonder the teacher you gave the blue one to was so happy with it! I bet teachers get a lot of unwanted end-of-term gifts, and yours definitely was NOT one of those.

  7. Love your espadrilles! Hope you enjoy wearing them a lot, the bracelets are cute too aren't they.

  8. Love that furniture. We're after something new for our garden, sadly neither of us are very practical!

  9. Oh for a man who would make me outdoor furniture. There are some amazing things out there made from reclaimed wood. Are there any places selling reclaimed wood near you? There are some really beautiful bits of wood around if you're lucky. I look forward to seeing what John whips up. Could be the start of something... Have a lovely week, good luck with the to-do list. Things are fairly peaceful here so far, although of course it is only day 1. CJ xx

  10. I love the bracelets – I don't wear jewellery often as I don't like metal on my skin; my favourite necklace to wear occasionally is on a ribbon rather than a chain – so I'll have to check this out. The espadrilles look great, perfect for summery holidays. It's amazing what you find in IG, isn't it? All very inspiring. Enjoy your summer, Gillian, and hope you have a lovely holiday. Sam x

  11. Love those bracelets... thank you for the introduction!

  12. Just caught up with your posts. The chairs were a great find and you've given them both such a wonderful makeover. Loving the white one by the wallpaper.
    Speaking of white your bedroom looks stunning. So cool and serene. I hope you enjoy faffing with the details and that it all comes together as you want it to.
    Enjoy the hols and your time away.
    Lisa x

  13. Hi Gillian, I have been reading your blog for a while now and felt compelled to leave a comment after this post as I am a fellow (fairly secret!) power ballad fan! I am desperate to go to the Electric Ballroom but am yet to convince anyone to come with me! So glad I'm not alone in my love for a power ballad!
    Have a lovely holiday,
    Lindsay x


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